Chat @ Caregiving: Doesn’t she look good?

There’s not much you can do to sugarcoat it.  Funerals are weird and I’m glad this one is behind me.  If nothing else, the cost was outrageous.

Mom is gone and nothing is going to change that.  She’d led an exemplary life, but the last few months had taken their toll on all of us.  Her and me – especially.  I’m carrying around pounds I don’t need and the mortician got her mouth all wrong.  We were about to be seen by most of the people we knew and neither one of us was looking our best.

Perhaps that shouldn’t matter so much, but it mattered a lot to Mom.  She was my biggest fan and my worst critic.  If she didn’t like the latest version of my hair, she didn’t mince any words.  When I put on a few pounds, she called me on it.  Of course she expected me to behave appropriately, but she also expected me to look good doing it.

She expected the same thing from herself.  Deciding what she was going to wear to any given event (be it a social occasion or just a meal in the dining room of her living facilities) was an important hurdle.  She did laundry every day.  Most days she ironed. I’m a little more laid back.  One day of laundry a week is usually enough and ironing is a rarity.

For years, she’s kept me aware of what she wanted to wear for her funeral.  We usually shopped together and with the almost daily commentary she gave me concerning her wardrobe, I could have easily guessed what the outfit would be. Still, I think it made her feel good to have it pinned down exactly.  Over the last few months, she asked frequently about her most recent selection, wanting assurance that it was the right one.

It must have been.  The one thing I heard most constantly during the two day affair was how good Mom looked.  I bit my tongue frequently, to keep from pointing out how weird her mouth looked.  Mom wanted them to think she looked good and if they thought so, then I’d done my job well.

My theme over the last few years has been, “No regrets!”  I didn’t want woulda, coulda or shoulda to have any toehold on me.  There could be no if-onlys to haunt me.  God had arranged my life so that I was able to put my darling senior citizens first and He’d given me a husband who believed, with me, that it was the right thing to do.  So that’s exactly what I did.

Now, that darling husband moves to the front of the line.    I want to love him up until he thinks he must be the cat’s meow.  For him and for myself, I’m going to drop those pounds I’ve put on lately.  I’m going to get to the gym and tone up everything I’ve got.  I’m planning to do some work on myself that starts at the top of my head, goes through my heart and mind and ends up with the soles of my feet.  I might not have looked my best at Mom’s funeral, but watch this space.  It won’t be too long until you’ll have to say, “Doesn’t she look good!”


3 thoughts on “Chat @ Caregiving: Doesn’t she look good?

  1. Jane – I tried to leave a message before but nothing worked for me. I simply wanted you to know I was thinking of you and I well understand the turmoil and the desire to have everything turn out perfect.

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